* The Film Show at the “Rembrandt”
THE enthusiasts’ gathering held at the Rembrandt Hotel again saw every
available ticken taken, and some 150 people sat down to lunch, which was a very good affair, the “pit work” by the waiters being excellent.
At the ” top ” table were Marcus Chambers, Klem, George Monkhouse, Mr. and Mrs. Pomeroy, Anthony Heal, Sam Clutton, Lord Brabazon, Kay Petre, Mr. and Mrs. Rivers-Fletcher, and Mr. and Mrs. Peter Clark. Sam Clutton, who took the chair, opened the after-lunch proceedings by announcing that Earl Howe, George Eyston, Raymond Mays, ” Bira,” and the motoring press in the shape of Eric Findon, H. S. &afield and W. Boddy had all sent messages regretting they could not attend, and wishing the meeting every success. Clutton continued by proposing a toast to “The Sport,” and pointed out that the last time he had to do this, at the beginning of these Rembrandt gatherings, he had urged that • something should be done by all enthusiasts to get motor-racing on a better footing in this country, but that, apart from continued gatherings, nothing had been done at all. He expressed a need for a continuation of these gatherings after the war, and suggested that the R.A.C. should take over the organisation of such things, and that if we were to have improvement, it was up to the R.A.C. to lead. He proposed that a telegram or letter on behalf of all those enthusiasts present be sent to the R.A.C. Competitions Committee expressing the view that we looked to them for a lead, and urging them to make a move. This was put to the vote, informally, and carried unanimously. [An excellent scheme, but did the majority of those present take it seriously or appreciate it ‘I] Sam made mention of the enormous latent enthusiasm he had encountered since being in the Service, which only needed some sort of lead to ripen it, and gatherings such as these were an excellent way of getting these people into the movement. Raymond Mays was mentioned as having a scheme for a number of clubs to encourage this latent enthusiasm, and he had been doing good work by displaying his E.R.A. Lord Brabazon of Tara, in replying to Sam’s toast, divided motorists into two classes, those to whom motoring was merely a means of getting about, and those who derived pleasure from handling a thoroughbred. He said how pleased he was to be amongst such a splendid gathering of the latter class. He assured us that he would prod the R.A.C. as much as he could to make them move, but if we were really going to have any effect we simply must make ourselves heard and fight for ourselves. Enthusiasts had to struggle in the old days, and he felt sure we were just as keen these days as they were then, and they certainly were keen in those days. He then made a plea for some changes in car design, and said we must keep the American type of car out of our country as, excellent though it was in America, it had no place over here. A low-geared, small-engined, large-bodied, all-purpose car was long overdue in this
country, he thought. He then went on to a subject on which everyone agreed, namely, better post-war motoring. Write to your M.P.s, he said ; the effect on M.P. of numbers of letters on the same theme was quite surprising, as he had experienced it ; and one thing that was vitally necessary at once was a basic ration, no matter how small, as it would allow the Motor Industry to get its wheels turning again. Improvement in smallcar design, especially with regard to weight, was necessary, and we should not let our manufacturers be influenced by the Government or we should get nowhere at all. He concluded by emphasising again the need for really good cars after the war.
Laurence Pomeroy was the next speaker, proposing a toast to the chairman and organisers. He praised Clutton for the great work he has done for the Sport and reminded us that it was Sam who started these meetings with the Chessington Rally in 1941; the subsequent ” Rembrandt ” gatherings and the formation of the advisory panel, known now as “this organisation,” were indeed praiseworthy. But what now ? Should they continue, would they serve a useful purpose ? He thought they definitely should continue, but they should not rush away and become too organised. He said he would have liked to have thanked Rivers-Fletcher for all the work he had put in, but that he believed it was Mrs. Rivers-Fletcher who had really done all the work. In reply, Rivers-Fletcher agreed that his wife had done most of the hard work, dealing with all the correspondence, etc. He continued, making a plea for greater
recognition of the Sport, widening its field of activity, racing on the roads, etc. The ” Rembrandt ” meetings would continue, and before the next one on December 3rd, an announcement would be made regarding the forming of a Motor Racing
Association, with a small subscription fee, to run these meetings and similar gatherings, perhaps twice a year, after the war, as he felt that if they were to continue the organisation should have an entity and be properly run. In conclusion, he expressed his thanks to the members of the lay press, the Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and Daily Stretch being represented, for coming along, and hoped they would give their support to furthering our cause.
Finally, Sam Clutton pointed out that we owed a debt of gratitude to Lord Brabazon for the excellent example that he was giving us in running the streamlined ” 1,100″ Fiat for his business purposes, and thought that it was a most praiseworthy motoring propaganda effort.
A short break was then announced, and this enabled people to chat amongst themselves, or to wander outside and study the many interesting cars that had managed to attend, thanks, in most cases, to that friend of the enthusiasts, the motor trader. Ian Metcalfe had his Couper Talbot-bodied 41-litre Bentley present, a vintage car turned out absolutely 100 per cent. ; Peter Monkhouse displayed the ex-B.O.C. Type 51 Bugatti, complete with sketchy aluminium wings, and notices requesting the over-enthusiastic not to enter the seat of government. Oscar Moore, of Purkess, Ltd., opened the ” alligator ” hood of his 2-seater blown Cord that the works might be inspected. Other cars present were John Bolster’s gas-producer Twenty Rolls, Anthony Crook’s ex-Thomas 328 B.M.W., Ashworth’s 3-litre Bentley, Leonard Potter’s B.M.W. coupe, Lord Brabazon’s Fiat, and Rodney Clarke’s billowy Lincoln “Zephyr” coupe.
Eventually everyone was seated back in the luncheon room and George Monkhouse proceeded to show a first-class selection of his motor-racing films from 1933-1939, in which he endeavoured to cater for all tastes and which he did admirably. The Le Mans signature tune was played in the interval.
After tea, those remaining patiently waited until Peter Monkhouse drove away, with Anthony Heal as passenger, in the Type 51 Bugatti, and then the proceedings closed.—D. S. J. *************************************
WHAT HAD THE HIS.PANO ?